KPMG in Kuwait supports national disability authority with inclusion agenda

31 May 2019 3 min. read

KPMG in Kuwait has been working with the local Public Authority for Disabled Affairs to support the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

While the nations of the GCC have in recent times instituted a range of policies to support their citizens with disabilities – recognising the need to improve educational and social outcomes – a recent report from Strategy& noted that there were still a number of obstacles in the region, including poor awareness, diagnostic shortfalls to detect and classify disabilities, and a lack of supporting infrastructure.

It’s against this backdrop that the Kuwait Public Authority for Disabled Affairs (PADA) – which was established in 2010 with a mandate to support the social integration of persons with disabilities – recently brought in the local arm of global Big Four professional services firm KPMG to aid PADA in its mission to achieve the full inclusion, with PADA having encountered some initial roadblocks.

According to the agency, it soon found itself acting a service provider after its inception due to the lack of capability within local mainstream service providers – with this service provision model conflicting with PADA’s primary mission of protecting the rights of the persons with disabilities. As such, PADA appointed KPMG to develop a fresh corporate strategy and transformational agenda.KPMG in Kuwait supports national disability authority with inclusion agenda Among the proposals, with KPMG’s local organisational design and process improvement proficient team supported by colleagues from the firm’s Australian branch with expertise in disabilities, was the transformation of the overarching business model centred on traditional medical practice to a contemporary biopsychosocial model – which provides for a more holistic, integrated approach.

“The project helped transform PADA from a medical service provider for PWDs (People with Disabilities) to a PWD activist in policy making, regulation and case management,” said Nussri Tahboub, director for management consulting with KPMG in Kuwait, who added that the undertaking also provided the firm with the opportunity to contribute to the development of the local community.

In addition to helping PADA transform to an innovative new model based on global good practice, KPMG also was also instrumental in shaping the agency’s HR strategy and structure, which included new units to enable PADA to assure the quality of services provided to PWDs, along with developing PADA’s competency framework and performance management system.

“This was a very interesting project for KPMG in Kuwait, as it gave us an opportunity to bring the global network to help improve the lives of those often overlooked members of our society,” said KPMG Kuwait partner Donald Teale. “The project focused on bringing PADA closer to the inclusiveness agenda lead by the United Nations and articulated in the UN Convention for Persons with disabilities.

According to UNDP data, there are more than 55,000 PWDs registered in Kuwait. At a recent conference held with the UN, PADA managing director Shafiqa Al-Awadhi noted the gains made to date; “PADA’s collaborative project with UNDP has achieved significant results, particularly on the institutional front and in building human capacity to ensure outstanding organisational performance.”